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Objects and Artifacts - Archeological Artifacts - Artifact Type - Debitage

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Alibates Flakes from 14KW401

Alibates Flakes from 14KW401
Date: Unknown
These six flakes of Alibates chert were recovered from a hill top camp site, 14KW401, in Kiowa County. The debitage, waste flakes from tool making, were made of Alibates chert, a silicified or agatized dolomite from the Canadian River in the Texas panhandle. The dark piece has been burned in a fire.


Artifact Collection from 14GL431

Artifact Collection from 14GL431
Date: 1-1000 CE
Shown is the artifact collection from an Early Ceramic camp site in Greeley County collected by Kansas Historical Society archeologists during a survey. The lithic materials include basalt, quartzite, and an unknown type of stone.


Artifact Collection from 14LO318

Artifact Collection from 14LO318
Date: Unknown
These two bifaces and a single flake represent the artifacts collected from a workshop site in Logan County. The dark flake was made of basalt and shows no other modification. The other two artifacts, both made of a chert called Smoky Hill silicified chalk, show different stages in bifacial reduction.


Artifact Collection from 14MT303

Artifact Collection from 14MT303
Date: Unknown
These 12 quartzite flakes represent a small lithic scatter that was recovered from a site in Morton County in the southwest corner of Kansas. Some of the flakes show further retouching, removing small flakes to thin, sharpen or further refine the chipped stone artifact.


Artifact Collection from 14OB302

Artifact Collection from 14OB302
Date: 1000-1500 CE
Sometimes even a small collection of artifacts can help Archeologists learn about what activities occurred at a site. For example, the artifact collection from 14OB302 only contains three artifacts: a flake, an endscraper and a pottery rim. The flake is of Smoky Hill silicified chalk, which outcrops in western Kansas. The endscraper, however, is made Florence chert, which outcrops in the Flint Hills to the east of Osborne county. Finally, a rim sherd from a ceramic vessel was also recovered. The collared rim was cord marked on the exterior and had a series of parallel lines on the interior. Archeologists can use the rim sherd to date the site to the Middle Ceramic period. Perhaps the people at the site used (or lost) the endscraper to process a hide, in addition to making and discarding a large flake of the local material.


Artifact Collection from 14SD341

Artifact Collection from 14SD341
Date: Unknown
Shown are four of the five items collected from the surface of a small lithic workshop site in Sheridan County. The site was discovered by Kansas Historical Society Archeologists in 1990. The artifact on the left is a large flake made from Smoky Hill silicified chalk, all of the others are modified flakes made of Smoky Hill silicified chalk, a chalcedony-like material, and Alibates flint from the Canadian River valley in the Texas panhandle.


Knife River Flint from the Ade Site, 14MP311

Knife River Flint from the Ade Site, 14MP311
Date: 1000-1800 CE
This flake of Knife River Flint was collected from the Ade site in McPherson County and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 2004. Knife River Flint, much sought after in prehistory, outcrops in North Dakota and is an excellent stone for flint knapping. Recovering it in Kansas, archeologists are better able to form a picture of trade and people's movements across the landscape.


Lithic Collection from 14GL427

Lithic Collection from 14GL427
Date: Unknown
This collection of debitage was collected during a survey at an archeological site in Greeley County. The site had occupations in both the Archaic and Middle Ceramic periods. The chert types include Smoky Hill silicified chalk, which outcrops in western Kansas into western Nebraska, Alibates flint, a silicified or agatized dolomite from the Canadian River valley in the Texas panhandle, and an unidentified chert.


Lithic Collection from 14GT301

Lithic Collection from 14GT301
Date: Unknown
These flakes were recovered from a Prehistoric camp site on a bluff south of the Cimarron River in Grant County. Shown are five Alibates Agatized Dolomite flakes, two Smoky Hill Silicified Chalk flakes, two quartzite flakes, and one possible Knife River Flint. Alibates is from the Canadian River valley in the Texas panhandle, Knife River Flint is quarried in North Dakota, and Smoky Hill silicified chalk outcrops in west central and north central Kansas on into Nebraska. Thus, just a few flakes represent quite a large amount of trade and travel.


Lithic Collection from 14RP313

Lithic Collection from 14RP313
Date: 1000-1500 CE
These chipped stone tools are part of the lithic collection from an archeological site in Republic County occupied during the Middle Ceramic period. Shown here are a side-notched arrow point made of Smoky Hill silicified chalk from western Kansas and Nebraska, a heat treated scraper made of Permian chert, and two pieces of debitage, one of which has also been heat treated.


Lithic Sample from 14HM310

Lithic Sample from 14HM310
Date: Unknown
These lithic artifacts were collected from a multicomponent (multiple occupations) archeological site in Hamilton County and donated in 1975 to the Kansas Historical Society. Shown are a sample of different chert types in the collection including Smoky Hill silicified chalk, a good quality knapping material that is exposed in linear beds in northwestern Kansas and western Nebraska. Additionally there are a chalcedony-like chert, unknown cherts, and Alibates flint, a silicified or agatized dolomite from the Canadian River valley in the Texas panhandle.


Lithic Tools from 14SR307

Lithic Tools from 14SR307
Date: 1000-1500 CE
Shown are three lithic tools that were collected from an archeological site in Sumner County that was occupied during the Middle Ceramic period. Shown is a Smoky Hill silicified chalk drill with a broken tip. Smoky Hill silicified chalk is a good quality knapping material that is exposed in linear beds in northwestern Kansas and western Nebraska. Drills were used to bore holes in softer materials than the drill material itself, such as hides, shell, or soft stone. Also shown is a side-notched arrow point made of heat treated Permian chert and an obsidian flake. Heat treating prior to the final knapping improved the knapping qualities of a chert. The source for obsidian is not found locally in Sumner County, but most likely was traded in from a mountainous area that had seen volcano activity long ago (obsidian is volcanic glass).


Obsidian Flakes from the Grassroots Site, 14SN307

Obsidian Flakes from the Grassroots Site, 14SN307
Date: 1-1000 CE
These two obsidian flakes were recovered from the Grassroots site, an Early Ceramic period site in Sherman County. In 2005, they analyzed using x-ray florescence (XRF) testing, an elemental analysis that matches the composition of the artifact to the composition of known sources. One piece was determined to be Valles Rhyolite from the Cerro del Medio member and the other to be Cerro Toledo Rhyolite from the Obsidian Ridge member, both places found in the Jemez Mountains in New Mexico. Thus XRF studies help archeologists to learn about ancient trade patterns.


Obsidian from the Ade Site, 14MP311

Obsidian from the Ade Site, 14MP311
Date: 1000-1800 CE
These three pieces of obsidian were recovered from the Ade site in McPherson County and, in 2004, were donated to the Kansas Historical Society. The Ade site was a multicomponent site with occupations in the Middle and Late Ceramic periods. There is no natural source of obsidian in McPherson County, so it was likely traded from a volcanic source such as the Yellowstone region of Wyoming or Taos, New Mexico. These small pieces of obsidian have not yet been sent for xray-florescence (XRF) testing, a chemical and elemental analysis that determines where material came from originally. Archeologists are interested in what the artifacts, even the smallest of artifacts, can tell about how people used resources, moved across their landscapes and interacted with other groups.


Obsidian from the Country Club Site, 14CO3

Obsidian from the Country Club Site, 14CO3
Date: 1400-1725 CE
These two fragments of obsidian were excavated from a Great Bend aspect village site in Cowley County during Phase IV archeological investigations in 1995. In 2005, they, along with other obsidian from the site, were analyzed using x-ray florescence (XRF) testing, an elemental analysis that matches the composition of the artifact to the composition of known sources. It was determined the obsidian from the site was Valles Rhyolite from the Cerro del Medio member and Cerro Toledo Rhyolite from the Obsidian Ridge member, both places found in the Jemez Mountains in New Mexico. Thus XRF studies help archeologists to learn about ancient trade patterns. The Country Club site had been much impacted by a water line, golf greens, roads, and highways. Excavations had been occurring at the site since 1916.


Obsidian from the Majors Site, 14RC2

Obsidian from the Majors Site, 14RC2
Date: 1500-1700 CE
These three obsidian artifacts, one modified flake and two flakes, were recovered from the Majors site in Rice County and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1982. There is no natural source of obsidian in Rice County, so it was likely traded from a volcanic source such as the Yellowstone region of Wyoming or Taos, New Mexico. The Majors site was a Great Bend aspect, Little River focus (ancestral Wichita) site that was occupied during the late 17th century based on southwestern pottery styles. Archeologists are interested in what the artifacts, even the smallest of artifacts, can tell about how people used resources, moved across their landscapes and interacted with other groups.


Yarmer Cache from 14BT479

Yarmer Cache from 14BT479
Date: Unknown
In 2013 Robert Yarmer donated 292 lithic artifacts that had been cached at a site in Barton County. A cache is a group of items stored or hidden for future use, for trade, or some other significance we today do not know. It is possible the cache dates to the Late Ceramic period. This cache contained bifaces, modified flakes, scrapers, knives, cores, and debitage. Predominately they were made of Permian chert, though a few were made of Smoky Hill silicified chalk, which outcrops in western Kansas. The lithic pieces shown here are a sampling of the large cache.


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